Steve
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Thomas Frank says that there is NO party in America that speaks for and stands with the bottom 80-90% of income earners.

The Repuds speak for and stand the top 0.01%, big business, and the religious right.

The new Dems speak for and stand with the top 10% and expect their old coalition to vote for them because "Where else can they go?"

Does this mean there are now 2 Wings of the "Upper Class Party"?
At least I think that most economists would say that if your income is in the top 10% then you are "Upper Class".


It seems like this situation creates a chance for a 3rd party to grab the 65% of the population that are not in either of the above groups.

I wonder if this might be easier than grabbing control away from the current leaders of the Democratic Party?

Could a Neo-"William Jennings Bryan" decide to run on the Green Party ticket and win? Are the working class and the welfare class ready to take America back from the rich?

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Christopher Dearlove
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No, because they wouldn't have the money, the organisation or the unity. And that's before any issues of the deck being stacked against them.
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Trey Chambers
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Steve1501 wrote:
Frank Thomas says that there is NO party in America that speaks for and stands with the bottom 80-90% of income earners.

The Repuds speak for and stand the top 0.01%, big business, and the religious right.

The new Dems speak for and stand with the top 10% and expect their old coalition to vote for them because "Where else can they go?"



Uh yea, it's a LITTLE more complex than that (read: a lot).
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David Dearlove
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Well Trump got a lot of poor white people to vote for him. Bill Clinton got poor blacks to vote for him. Maybe it's the position in the party that works? But current US funding rules make the Democratic Party go after corporate money which poisons them in the eyes of the poor. You need election reform in funding and gerrymandering. These things make you look like a banana republic.
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Wendell
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I think it's more likely one of the major parties could collapse and a new second major party formed (as has happened before in US history), than a third party winning enough votes to hold significant numbers of offices, or the presidency.
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William Bekking
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There is a "Draft Bernie" movement afoot.

https://draftbernie.org/

The progressives within the democratic party believe that Sanders would have won the nomination if it weren't for the DNC leaders cheating him out of it.
 
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Carl Parsons
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I always thought this party had potential.

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Andre
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One must ask oneself why a third party has not already done this, if those voters you mention are truly up for grabs? I agree that it is not as simple as Frank portrays it. He might be correct in the demographics, but, the two party system is deeply entrenched in America. Some of those voters will always vote for one of the two major parties, so the percentages will never be that clean. And third parties struggle historically, to even get into the debates. Of course, the requirements to do so are artificially created, and can be changed, but I am not sure either major party wants that to happen. A third party may be momenttarily successful in one election, as Ross Perot was. But not really successful enough to WIN an election. Until such time as a statistically significant Americans are willing to register a protest vote, or a legitimate vote for the Third Party based on principles, then a Third Party is unlikely to face success. By statistically significant, I mean enough votes to potentially win an election via the electoral college process.
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fightcitymayor
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Sadly, in the 2016 election that saw two of the least liked candidates to ever run for the office, a ticket that ran on a platform of being socially liberal but fiscally conservative (like most Americans) managed to net a whopping 3.7% of the popular vote. If a sane, rational 3rd party can't do better than that during an election where basically everyone was pissed off about their choices, then America's first-past-the-post system will likely never reward 3rd-party challengers in any meaningful way (certainly not in the current hyper-partisan climate.)
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David Hoffman
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In order for any third party to be viable, it should first spend a couple decades building a roster at the local level and in the House. They'd need to show us they were for real, and they'd need to have some depth to themselves to prove it.
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Shawn Fox
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A successful 3rd party can probably only form in the US via a split of an already existing party. People who are already in Congress would have to join. It has happened before, it will likely happen again.

That said, the rules in Congress are set up to really punish people for leaving their party. If all the Tea Partiers had split off to form a new party they would have lost their positions on many committees. A congressperson in the house only has any real power as a member of a committee since otherwise they are just one out of 435 votes. On a committee they are one of (around) 10 votes and actually have real control over writing legislation before it goes to vote before the entire House.

It might also be possible to have a regional party in one or more states that gains enough seats to matter, but such a regional party would likely have a great deal of difficulty growing into a national party.
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Scott Russell
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Too many Republican and Democrat voters are too entrenched in their "teams" to rationally consider the merits of voting for someone that doesn't have their brand (R) or (D) after their name. cry
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Jorge Montero
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Thomas Frank's rhetoric is about as full of hate as that of Trump, he just picks a different group of people to hate. He doesn't talk against people of color (mainly because he acts as if they don't exist), but his anti intellectualism is pretty alarming.

A party that aligns with his ideas might not be quite as good as Trumpism at shooting the country in the head, but it'll still be in the ballpark. If I was chinese or north korean, I'd want someone like him to be the main opponent of Trump.
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Trey Chambers
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I think the real reason is fear. Republicans are so AFRAID of Democrats winning that they won't risk their vote on a 3rd party that may more authentically represent their views, and vice versa.

It's not an unfounded fear, either. A few thousand Republicans in the right areas vote for Gary Johnson, Clinton wins.

And you can bet I have no shortage of ire for Jill Stein (and 2000 Nader) voters given how close the election was.

WE NEED SOME KIND OF RUNOFF SYSTEM, any kind, so people can vote their conscience and only vote for the lesser of two evils after they've done so.

Of course, the two major parties would never allow that, so it'll never happen.
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Junior McSpiffy
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Steve1501 wrote:

The Repuds...


You were a grown-up for so long....
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Chris M
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I'm not sure what could be done to make it happen. People are just so use to the two party system that it doesn't seem like anything could make a dent in it unless you had some massive followers with strong loyalty. I think most people care about the election enough that they would rather vote with the two party system in mind to have someone they perceive as having a "chance at winning" then to give it to a 3rd party which may help or hurt their preferred alternative.

Personally I'm a fan of Shampoo4you's runoff idea being brought here in the US.
 
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Bill Cook
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Steve1501 wrote:
Thomas Frank says that there is NO party in America that speaks for and stands with the bottom 80-90% of income earners.

The Repuds speak for and stand the top 0.01%, big business, and the religious right.

The new Dems speak for and stand with the top 10% and expect their old coalition to vote for them because "Where else can they go?"


Not sure who Thomas Frank is. As first I thought it might be the great White Sox first baseman. But this analysis it trite and stupid.

Worse, it's dangerous. There are real differences between the Republican and Democratic parties. If you actually care about the 90%, 99%, whatever you should be encouraging them to

- fight like hell to get Democrats elected and
- fight like hell to push the Democratic party to the left

Instead, this sort of analysis keep voters at home, and gets people like Trump elected. Fuck that.

Oh, and to answer the question, no, a 3rd party can't grab 65%, or 6.5% of nonaligned voters.
 
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Trey Chambers
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KrazyIrish89 wrote:
EMBison wrote:
Steve1501 wrote:
Thomas Frank says that there is NO party in America that speaks for and stands with the bottom 80-90% of income earners.

The Repuds speak for and stand the top 0.01%, big business, and the religious right.

The new Dems speak for and stand with the top 10% and expect their old coalition to vote for them because "Where else can they go?"


Not sure who Thomas Frank is. As first I thought it might be the great White Sox first baseman. But this analysis it trite and stupid.

Worse, it's dangerous. There are real differences between the Republican and Democratic parties. If you actually care about the 90%, 99%, whatever you should be encouraging them to

- fight like hell to get Democrats elected and
- fight like hell to push the Democratic party to the left

Instead, this sort of analysis keep voters at home, and gets people like Trump elected. Fuck that.

Oh, and to answer the question, no, a 3rd party can't grab 65%, or 6.5% of nonaligned voters.


The Democrats do not care about the 90% or the 99%. They pay lip service to them and mildly fight for the social safety net. They care most about their corporate paymasters (just like the Republicans).


I'd say that's a poor understanding of the party. They have fought for many lower and middle-class issues and rights.

Of course, they do in fact cater to lobbyists and corporations on certain issues because they are still running the same corporate funding election plan the GOP does. Bernie (almost) proved that you can do it another way, small donations from many supporters. But this is a much, much harder way to fund any kind of local campaign. Bernie had a NATIONAL STAGE from which to ask for small donations.

Do you know your senators and congressman? Maybe the ones you send to Washington D.C., but how many of us know our state reps? What about other political positions in government, judges, sheriffs, on and on and on? It's really hard to ask for donations when no one knows who you are, even the people who will be voting for you.

So yea, the Democrats have to deal with the devil to get their campaigns funded and compete with the GOP not only on a national level but a local level as well. It sucks, but it's reality. Bernie's almost-success gives us hope that there may be another way, but that has yet to be realized, right now it's just a dream, so right now I'm not going to hyperbolically slander the Democratic party for doing what it HAS to do to compete (besides at the Presidential level).
 
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Trey Chambers
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Funnily enough, they best way to solve this issue would be if individuals started making small personal donations to the DNC so that the DNC could fund local campaigns without having to rely on corporate and 1% money, but badmouthing the party isn't exactly going to encourage people to do that.
 
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Chris M
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Hillary raised nearly twice what Trump did in about everything including wall street money, and that was even with 60ish million from Trump giving it into his own campaign. Would have been competing with a higher warchest then Trump even without them but I suppose if you're opponent is going to use them though, might as well do it too but it can create a conflict of interest. Still I'd like to be rid of these Super PACs. Hard to believe it was thought of a good idea to count corporations as "people" when it comes to elections.
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Bill Cook
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KrazyIrish89 wrote:
The Democrats do not care about the 90% or the 99%. They pay lip service to them and mildly fight for the social safety net. They care most about their corporate paymasters (just like the Republicans).


That's bullshit. Look at list of stuff Democrats have worked hard on. Not just given lip service to, but gone to bat at fought for. You think Obamacare is for the 1%? You think DACA is for the 1%? You think Planned Parenthood is for the 1%? Look at the taxes raised by Democrats to pay for government programs that help. Then get that crap about corporate paymasters out of here.

Forgive my anger, but it's crap like this that gets Republican elected. There are significant differences between the two parties. That needs to be shouted from the roof. Get everybody to understand it. Make sure people understand who they are voting for any why.

Would I like to see the Democrats do a heck of a lot more to help people. You bet. But that doesn't excuse Republican-electing disinformation.
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As others have pointed out, a major problem is that once a two-party-system has formed, it is very hard to break. This is a general problem and not specifiy to the US. What is specific to the US is the system of the electoral college. If one party ever split up into two parties, it would basically give the presidency to the party that didn't split up with close to 100% of the electoral votes.

I have yet to read a compelling argument for a system that grants all of the votes to the party that won a state no matter by how much. But in the grand scheme of things, this is just a minor problem and even though it needs fixing, fixing it will not solve the problems of a two-party-system.

And I don't mean to bash the US here. Many countries in Europe face similar problems. Political parties at the end of the spectrum often have more voters than those in the middle. This is likely because their messages are easily understandable (although mostly wrong).
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Bill Cook
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emptyset wrote:
I have yet to read a compelling argument for a system that grants all of the votes to the party that won a state no matter by how much.


For what it's worth, the constitution doesn't require that. Each state picks their own rules. 48 have chosen winner-take-all. Two (Maine and Nebraska) split their EC votes, with some going on winner take all at the state level, and some going to winner-take-all at the congressional district level.

States choose to be winner-take-all because it gives the states pull with political candidates. If a state is going to split it's electors between the two candidates, it's not worth fighting over the state.
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Trey Chambers
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Intersta...
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Jorge Montero
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emptyset wrote:
As others have pointed out, a major problem is that once a two-party-system has formed, it is very hard to break. This is a general problem and not specifiy to the US. What is specific to the US is the system of the electoral college. If one party ever split up into two parties, it would basically give the presidency to the party that didn't split up with close to 100% of the electoral votes.


Forget about the presidency: Winner take all elections at all other levels still cause problems. The only way to build a good 3rd party in this situation, barring a total collapse of an existing party (at which point, we are only changing the names of the two parties), would be to have regional parties, like you have in Spain. Those are, by almost any definition, not great.

What lets a third party happen is mechanisms where having a certain percentage of the vote, but not the majority on a region, still give you representation. if I have 20% of the voters in Missouri backing me, Chances are I'll not get a single congressman unless they all live in the same metro area. In Spain, if I have 20% of a small province (the equivalent of a state, we also have 50), I'll get a seat or two. There's still trouble, in the sense that 20% across the entire country is far worse than having all those voters be concentrated, but it's still far easier for third parties to arise.

So it's not really about letting people vote, but every little rule makes a difference.
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